Rachel Turiel has been named the 2019 Extraordinary Woman by the Women’s Resource Center for her work in nonviolent communication.
Turiel teaches workshops and five-week courses in nonviolent communication to individuals, couples and groups. The classes focus on authenticity and awareness, how we express feelings, and the core cause for the feelings that lead us to use violent communication like accusations, blame, criticisms, demands, judgment and ridicule.
“It’s a consciousness that asks what is important to all of us and how can we express that in a way that builds connection,” Turiel said.
She has helped groups such as Ska Brewing Co., Yoga Durango and La Plata County Civil Dialogue to create collaborative environments and navigate disagreements. She guides people through real-life scenarios that showcase where conflict arises.
“We have more in common than we think,” she said. “One principle of nonviolent communication is that conflict usually happens at the level of strategy.”
Turiel said most people want the same thing, and nonviolent communication is a process of understanding individual needs and coming together as a couple, family, business or organization to resolve animosity and disagreements.
“If you learn these skills, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have conflict,” she said. “But it means that conflict isn’t so scary. If we could take a step back from our strategies and connect on the fact that we all want the same thing, it might change the way that we dialogue.”
Though teaching people to know and believe in their needs is challenging, Turiel believes changing the way we relate to one another also changes lives.
“I love seeing how relieved people feel,” she said. “I love seeing people go from stuck and trapped in their relationships, to relief and open flow of communication.”
The Women’s Resource Center will host its Extraordinary Women Award Dinner at 5:30 p.m. March 6 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Durango. Tickets are available at wrcdurango.org